Difference Between Swamp and Bog (With Table)

A segment of the ecosystem that is flooded with water either seasonally or permanently with distinguishing features like vegetation of aquatic plants and adaptations of hydric soil is known as wetlands. Wetlands are that part of the ecosystem which are biologically different. They reside a huge number of animal and plant species. The extent and performance of wetlands depend on their characteristics, water bodies, and lands in their proximity. There exist several types of wetlands and two of them are 1. Swamp 2. Bog.

Swamp vs Bog

The difference between swamp and bog is the soil present in the respective wetlands. Swamps have muddy soil on the contrary bogs have peat soil. There are other differences between these two wetlands. The vegetation, animal life, and other parameters of these wetlands vary from each other as well.

A swamp is a wetland that has permanent watery and saturated soil. Swamps are the transition zones created by water and land. They vary in size, presence of water, presence of soil, etc., and are found in the entire world. The two main types of swamps are freshwater swamps and saltwater swamps. The swamps that are created near rivers and lakes are called freshwater swamps. The innate water level fluctuates in these swamps depending upon the rainwater and floods. Swamps found along tropical or subtropical coasts are called saltwater swamps.

A wetland that is formed by peat, mosses, dead plants, majorly sphagnum moss is called a bog. A bog is also known as mire, mosses, quagmire, fens, Muskegon, etc. The gradual proliferation of dead plants functions as a carbon sink in bogs. Low nutrient and acidic ground surfaces are some of the reasons for the occurrence of bogs. They play a significant role in biodiversity. Types of bogs are determined on parameters like location, water source, and nutrient content.

Comparison Table Between Swamp and Bog

Parameters of ComparisonSwampBog
Definition A wetland that has permanently saturated soil filled with water is called a swamp.A wetland formed by peat, mosses, dead plants, majorly sphagnum moss is called a bog.
SubtypesFreshwater swamps, Saltwater swampsValley bogs, Raised bogs, Coastal bogs, Plateau bogs, Upland bogs, Kermi bogs, String bogs, Palsa bogs, Polygonal bogs, Blanket bogs, Quaking bogs, Contract bogs, Utrophic bogs, Mesotrophic bogs, Oligotophic bogs.
UsesPurification of water, absorption of surplus water while floods, anchor soil, and sand near coastal areas.Usage of sphagnum bogs for hunting and ecotourism, manufacture of furniture by bog oak, harvesting of cranberries, blueberries, cloudberries, huckleberries, lingonberries.
Also known asNo other word.Mire, mosses, quagmire, fans.
ExamplesOkefenokee swamp, Barley Barber swamp, Great Cypress swamp, Great Dismal Swamp, Atchafalaya basin, Vasyugan swamp, Bangweulu swamp, Okwango swamp, Asmat swamp, Candaba swamp, Mangrove swamp, Myristica swamp, Coomonderry swamp, Congaree swamp, Great Black swamp, Green swamp, Honey Island swamp, Louisiana swamplands.Kakerdaja bog, Kuresoo bog, Niitvälja bog, Nigula bog, Ballynahone bog, Crymlyn bog, Matley bog, Max bog, Moseley bog, Yanal bog, Alfred bog, Burns bog, Glacier Park bog, McLean bogs, Minden bog, Pinhook bog, Rhine Center bog, Spruce Hole bog, Tannersville Cranberry bog, Strangmoor bog, Sifton bog, Volo bog, Zurich bog.

What is Swamp?

A wetland that has permanently saturated soil filled with water is called a swamp. Swamps play an important role in biodiversity. They are such a segment of the ecosystem that has numerous uses. The reason why swamps are called transition zones is that water and land play an important role in creating them.

Swamps are of two types namely 1. Freshwater swamps and 2. Saltwater swamps. The swamps that are created near rivers and lakes are called freshwater swamps. The swamps that are found on tropical or subtropical coasts are called saltwater swamps. Depending on rainwater and floods the water level in saltwater swamps fluctuates.

Flowing water and saturated soil are the characteristic features of swamps. Sources responsible for the presence of water in swamps include rivers, lakes or floods, etc. Water filtration is done by swamps in large quantities. The plant life present in swamps absorb chemicals like phosphorus and nitrogen from water and purifies it.

There are various swamps in different parts of the world. The Bangweulu Floodplains is considered the largest swamp in Africa. 

Other significant examples of swamps include Atchafalaya swamp, Okefenokee swamp, Barley Barber swamp, Asmat swamp, Myristica swamp, Congaree swamp, Great Black swamp, Great Cypress swamp, Great Dismal Swamp, Green swamp, Honey Island swamp, Vasyugan swamp, Mangrove swamp, etc.

What is Bog?

A wetland that is formed by peat, mosses, dead plants, majorly sphagnum moss is called a bog. Bogs play an important role in the ecosystem. Bogs have several uses and properties. They have their importance in maintaining environmental protection. They are also known as mire, mosses, quagmire, fens, etc. The gradual increase of dead plants in bogs functions as carbon sinks.

The Occurrence of bogs is because of the presence of acidic and low nutrient water at the ground surface. Several animals, fungal, and plant species reside in bogs. They are mostly found in cold and boreal ecosystems. The United Kingdom implemented a Biodiversity Action Plan wherein they implied bog habitats as a significant part. 

Several examples of bogs include Viru bog, Puhatu bog, Boora bog, Clara bog, Raheenmore bog, Cloncrow bog, Milltownpass bog, etc.

Bogs are categorized based on parameters such as location, water source, and nutrient content. Varieties of bogs are Valley bogs, Raised bogs, Coastal bogs, Plateau bogs, Upland bogs, Kermi bogs, String bogs, Palsa bogs, Polygonal bogs, Blanket bogs, Quaking bogs, Utrophic bogs, Mesotrophic bogs, Oligotophic bogs.

The sans oxygen environment where tannins are present in bogs is suitable for storing a large number of organic compounds. Many locations including Slovenia, Denmark, and Germany have found such bogs where organic compounds are preserved. Other uses of bogs include Production of fuel, soil amendment, carbon storage, mitigate climate changes, freshwater storage, etc.

Main Differences Between Swamp and Bog

  1. The type of soil present in swamps and bogs is different. Swamps possess muddy soil on the other hand soil present in bogs has dead plants and animals which form peat.
  2. Swamps reside in several types of plants and animal species on the other hand bogs reside in plants and animals that can sustain low nutrition and acidic water.
  3. Sources from which swamps get water include rivers, lakes, and streams on the other hand water present in bogs is mostly occurred because of precipitation.
  4. The formation of swamps is generally because of water collected by rivers or lakes on the other hand either colonization of land by aquatic life or increase of microbial activity is responsible for the formation of bogs.
  5. The uses and applications of swamps include Purification of water, absorption of surplus water while floods, anchor soil, and sand near coastal areas on the other hand uses of bogs include the manufacture of furniture by bog oak, carbon storage, mitigate climate changes, freshwater storage, etc.

Conclusion

Both swamps and bogs are part of the ecosystem and do their bit in thriving the environment. They have many applications and uses which have proven to be quite helpful to mankind and also in preserving nature.

Nature finds its ways to purify and create a balance by the means of its various resources. We as humans sometimes try to vandalize those resources. We sometimes forget that it is our responsibility to nurture, preserve and protect our environmental resources at all costs.

References

  1. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rstb.1984.0002
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02957048.pdf
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